Pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) are introduced into agricultural soils via irrigation with treated wastewater (TWW). Our data show that carbamazepine, lamotrigine, caffeine, metoprolol, sulfamethoxazole and sildenafil are persistent in soils when introduced via TWW. However, other PCs, namely diclofenac, ibuprofen, bezafibrate, gemfibrozil and naproxen were not detected in soils when introduced via TWW. This is likely due to rapid degradation as confirmed in our microcosm studies where they exhibited half-lives (t 1/2) between 0.2-9.5 days when soils were spiked at 50 ng/g soil and between 3 and 68 days when soils were spiked at 5000 ng/g soil. The degradation rate and extent of PCs observed in microcosm studies were similar in soils that had been previously irrigated with TWW or fresh water. This suggests that pre-exposure of the soils to PCs via irrigation with TWW does not enhance their biodegradation. This suggests that PCs are probably degraded in soils via co-metabolism.
- Half-life time
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis